Academic Decathlon Takes Seventh at National Finals

The competition, held this year in Bloomington, Minnesota, prepares students in 10 subject areas including art, music, literature, history, economics, math, science, essay writing, speech, and personal interview. Teams may be composed of up to nine total students, three each from the high, medium, and lower GPA categories. 
Academic Decathlon 2019 Nationals

This year’s topic of focus was the decade of the 1960s. Art and Music featured abstract, protest, minimalist and postmodern art of the era. The Literature category consisted of the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard and several short works including Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. The History section encompassed major events that shaped the turbulent era that saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the United States' participation in the Vietnam War. The Science category covered optics and lasers while the Mathematics test featured counting techniques, statistics, sequences, and series. The Economics category covered all major topics of macro and micro-economics and a special section relating to the Great Society programs of Lyndon B. Johnson. 
Academic Decathlon 2019 Nationals

The 2019 Saint Pius X Team was composed of two members who were veterans of National-level competition from last year and five rookie members. Veteran members included seniors Dominic DeBlassie and  Kayla Moehn. First-time Nationals attendees were senior Sarah Brown, juniors  Sam Valenzuela and  Logan Hooks, and sophomores,  Danny Pham and  Jacob Moehn. Around 650 total students from 34 U.S. States, Great Britain, and China competed.  
A list of the higher individual achievements follows. There were approximately 220 competitors in each student division. 


Kayla Moehn

  • National Silver Medal in Art
  • 6th Place in History
  • 8th Place in Speech
Danny Pham
  • 9th Place in Mathematics
Jacob Moehn
  • 10th Place in Literature


Sam Valenzuela
  • 4th Place in Interview
  • 6th Place in Music
  • 8th Place in Mathematics
Sarah Brown
  • 4th Place in Speech
  • 7th Place in Mathematics
  • 7th Place in Interview
Logan Hooks
  • 6th Place in Science
  • 8th Place in Economics
  • 8th Place in Art


Dominic DeBlassie
  • Scholarship Winner - Overall Score
  • Scholarship Winner - Most Valuable Team Member
  • National Silver Medal in Science
  • National Silver Medal in Speech
  • 4th Place in Mathematics
  • 4th Place in Economics
  • 5th Place in Art
  • 6th Place in History
Academic Decathlon 2019 Nationals
The Saint Pius X Academic Teams have won eighteen State Championships over the last twenty-three years of competition and have often achieved a national rank of around 4th or 5th among schools in Division III (high schools with approximately 1000 students or fewer) or Division II (schools with approximately 1000-1800 students).  

The most recent major team award for Saint Pius X was in 2015, the overall 4th Place Trophy in Division III at the National Finals in Anaheim, California. This year one member of the Saint Pius X team could not attend the National Finals, so the team’s total score was lower than if it had a full complement.  Despite this, Saint Pius X placed 7th in the U.S. in Division III. Adding in typical scores for the missing student would have moved Saint Pius up to 4th in the country. 
Academic Decathlon National Finals

SPX team members brought home three national medals: Dominic DeBlassie won National Silver Medals in Science and in Speech, and Kayla Moehn won the National Silver Medal in Art. Dominic also won two scholarships, one for his overall score and a second for being voted the Most Valuable Team Member by members of the SPX Team.  Four other solid performances narrowly missed earning additional national awards. Sam Valenzuela placed fourth in the Interview event; Sarah Brown placed fourth in Speech;  Dominic DeBlassie placed fourth in both Mathematics and Economics, narrowly missing bronze medals by only one question in each event.  

Congratulations to every team member for a great year!